Kathua Rape-Murder Case: Hindu Outfit Seeks Donations to Engage Counsel for Accused

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People hold placards at a protest against the rape of an eight-year-old girl, in Kathua, near Jammu and a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh state, in New Delhi, on April 12. — Reuters

Web Report

NEW DELHI — The Hindu Ekta Manch, which has been rallying in support of the accused in the Kathua rape and murder case, has sought donations from public to engage counsels on behalf of the accused.

The Hindu outfit, in a strong-worded letter, has appealed to find the “real culprits” in the rape and murder case of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, which took place in January, this year, reports The Indian Express.

The group also sought a CBI inquiry into the incident. “For ensuring this we have to constitute a team of lawyers to file the due petition in the Supreme Court of India at the earliest,” the letter reads.

On Wednesday, Manch president Vijay Sharma said a decision to make public appeal for donations was taken at a meeting of the organisation. However, it has not evoked much response so far, he said, adding they would have to personally contact their friends and well-wishers to raise funds, says the report.

“We have to mobilise enough resources so that the best legal team is mobilised to successfully plead the case before the Supreme Court. We appeal to everybody to come forward and donate generously so that a corpus of fund is created to meet the legal expenses,’’ according to a message posted by the outfit on social media.

The Supreme Court on Monday had agreed to hear on May 16 a plea of three witnesses in the Kathua gangrape and murder case, accusing the Jammu and Kashmir Police of harassment and coercion.

On May 7, the top court had transferred the trial in the gangrape and murder case from Jammu and Kashmir to Pathankot in Punjab. However, the court refrained from handing over the probe to CBI, saying there was no need to do this as the investigation has been conducted and the chargesheet filed.

The eight-year-old victim, hailing from a minority nomadic community, had disappeared from near her home in a village close to Kathua in the Jammu region on January 10. Her body was found in the area a week later.

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